Good Morning America ran a segment on Wednesday morning, March 20, 2013. In an attempt to target the stay at home mothers and fathers audience, the story claimed that women are now popping pills in order to be better mothers. According to GMA, popping pills is a new trend.
With Postpartum Depression and Anxiety gaining national and global attention, this piece by GMA has possibly shamed many women into hiding their emotional struggles and mental illness. While it may be true that more and more women have received professional help for depression and anxiety after having a child, GMA only told have the story.
Many statement throughout the piece such as "popping pills to be a better mom" the reporter also stated that antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications, are the new mommy's little helpers.
Not once did the report state that these women had been treated by a psychiatrist and diagnosed with postpartum depression or other mental illness. The reporter did however, state that their medication helps them "calm their nerves". Further negative promotion by GMA's piece was evident in the highlighting a mother who "weaned" herself off her prescription of Xanax - which can be very dangerous and cause serious medical problems.
The seriousness of this inaccurate report will surely hinder many new mothers and women who are already afraid to speak out. Mental Illness and even Postpartum depression still carries a strong negative stigma.
Belittling the use of anti-anxiety medications and anti-depressants is a irresponsible action by Good Morning America. For more information on whether or not medication is needed after having a child, visit Postpartum Progress, where women together offer resources and offer support.